BioQuest: Family

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Disregarding Ryan, Tenenbaum turned to Booker and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Report our new guest to our old friend.”

“On it,” Booker answered, pausing by Ryan. “Anything they say, you do it. Or I’ll be back out here to bend your knee the other way.” Tenenbaum chuckled as he punctuated the threat with two claps on Ryan’s back, heading into the back for the radio.

“I respect his enthusiasm,” Ryan commented, watching Tenenbaum as she came over to stand in front of him with her pistol drawn. “Not necessarily his methods.”

Elizabeth slipped out as he spoke, and she could only hope the young woman didn’t have any DeWitt-level ideas up her sleeve. Ryan only had two knees and he wasn’t getting any younger.

“Are you one to judge methods, Ryan?” Tenenbaum glared down at him, continuing. “We caught you hunting down your mistress for petty vengeance.”

“…Andrew?” Diane’s distinct accent cut through the soft chatter of the clinic and Tenenbaum found some satisfaction in Ryan’s shock.

“Diane?” He turned around, pushing himself to stand. Diane’s brow furrowed and her jaw locked.

Tenenbaum met Elizabeth’s gaze past the two of them and, well, she hoped that hopeful look on her face was well-placed. “Is this where you’ve been all this time? I, I was worried–”

“Don’t! Don’t you lie to me, Andrew.” The emotion of the moment was hitting her all at once, and she couldn’t even look Ryan in the eye as she shifted restlessly.

“You, you’ve had it made in the shade up in your hideaway, wearing snazzy suits…” Diane huffed and whirled around on Ryan and it occurred to Tenenbaum that she’d be a good mother one day. “The people of Rapture are suffering out here. The question isn’t where I was. Where were you?”

“Mr. Ryan?” Tenenbaum stood tall and wondered how Jack got in without anyone hearing or stopping him. He squared his shoulders, leveling a steady gaze at Andrew Ryan. “I’m Jack Jolene.”

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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BioQuest: Kidnapping

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“I don’t give a damn if you’re scared or not, Ryan,” Booker growled, and Tenenbaum cut him off by raising her hand.

“You want Jasmine, ja?” Ryan quirked an eyebrow at that, but she could see he felt he was in control already. Fontaine was right about one thing– a smart mark was an easy mark. “I didn’t trust you until I outnumbered you. But now?”

Tenenbaum strode to the door, pulling it open, and gestured for the two men to follow her. “She’s this way.”

– – –

Jack waited beneath the bed, still and silent, as their footsteps moved away. He pulled himself out, getting to his feet to open the armoire for Jasmine– to find she was already out and checking her pistol that she must’ve hidden in the armoire too.

“Damn it,” she muttered, shaking her head. “Damn! They just kidnapped him, just like that. We gotta stop ’em, he’ll–”

Jack put his hand on her shoulder and she jumped, but her breathing slowed down as he spoke to her.

“He’s not going to do anything. We’ll set it right. I promise.” As much as Jack wanted to be angry, he found himself respecting her. She was scared of Ryan, but she took her gun out anyway.

To her, Andrew was larger than life. Like Fontaine was to him. But she was ready to fight anyway. That resolve… It was something he thought he was engineered to have. Jack didn’t even think before now that maybe he’d inherited that spark naturally.

“Oh, God. I wanna believe you. I do.” She dropped the pistol on the bed, sighing, and it struck him how truly drained she looked.

“You don’t have to yet. We’ve got time to talk more.” Jack took his hand off her shoulder to point at her radio and continued. “Tenenbaum used that to call in Booker, so you can talk to me on that frequency anytime. For now, just know that it’s going to be alright.”

“Don’t be stupid,” she answered and at first, he laughed.

“I’ll try.” With that, he followed after Tenenbaum and Booker.

– – –

“What were you thinking?!” Elizabeth hissed, crossing her arms and glaring at Tenenbaum. “Sullivan doesn’t come here, but he’ll come looking for help to find Ryan. And he’ll find him, alright.”

“Tenenbaum, I thought you were at least reputable enough to–”

“Quiet,” Booker grumbled, and that seemed to work. For now, at least. Ryan eyed the clinic with a mix of fascination and disdain, and the girls and patients reacted in much the same way to him being there when they passed through to the secure area in the back.

“What’s he even doing with you?” Diane asked, eyebrows furrowed with worry but she kept on a brave face. “We can’t just keep him back here… Right?”

“Think it over, Tenenbaum.” Ryan chimed in again, as arrogant as ever. “I can be a formidable enemy–”

Booker kicked the back of Ryan’s knee, knocking him to the ground with a grunt. “Or you can be quiet like you’re told.”

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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BioQuest: Standoff

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Tenenbaum casually checked her pistol, reloading while Jack stepped back from Jolene and closer to her side.

“Both of you, hide,” she ordered flatly, taking out her radio. Anyone who left the clinic had to carry one– though that was only Jack and Tenenbaum these days. She pressed the button and spoke. “Booker, meet me at Siren Alley.”

The radio crackled for a few moments, then Booker’s voice came through. “What in the hell are you even doing there with Jack–”

She interrupted him there to explain, “Ryan is coming to us on the only path out.”

“I’m on it,” he barely finished speaking before the radio cut out.

Giving her attention back to Jack and Jolene, she sighed at the sight. Now it was Jack trying to get her to hide, but she would not hear him.

“Dr. Tenenbaum can handle it,” he insisted, exasperated, holding his arm out to the armoire. “Please, just listen.”

“No, no! You don’t know him, what he can do,” she spoke half to herself, hands gesturing wildly.

“It isn’t even half of what I will do to protect him,” Tenenbaum answered, pointing to the armoire with her pistol as she went to stand in front of the door. “Now hide.”

With only slight fussing after that, they rushed to hide just before Ryan barged in. Tenenbaum guessed from what she heard that one of them was under the bed and the other was in the armoire.

“Mr. Ryan,” she greeted. “What brings you here?”

“Ms. Tenenbaum?” His rage gave way to surprise, if only for one eyebrow-raising moment, before he got his cool front back. However thin of a facade it was. “I ought to ask you the very same question! What are you doing here?

“Dr. Tenenbaum,” she corrected, smirking. If he even noticed the pistol in her hands, he gave no sign of it. Typical. “Where’s Diane?”

“Diane?” For yet another moment, he seemed to truly not know who she was. “We’re not together, it’s not my responsibility–”

“Ja, it never is,” she talked over him, nodding in false sympathy. “But did you not bring her here? Wasn’t that your choice, not hers?”

“No, she had a choice! She,” he trailed off to a grumble. “You have no right to accuse me of anything! What are you here for? Hm?”

He snapped his jacket collar lightly and tried to circle her to her farther into the room. That’s when the pistol came into play, locking on his grinning expression. “There’s no one here for you to prey on. So what have you done with Jasmine?”

“You speak as if you are not a predator here to cause harm,” Tenenbaum observed, training her pistol steadily on him.

“The difference between us, dear doctor, is that you cannot harm me without harming Rapture.” He crossed his arms in a gentlemanly manner, chuckling from his chest like he told a clever joke.

She scoffed back. “Those in power are always so ready to believe in your own importance.” He relaxed beside the armoire, but there was nothing she could not do that would not betray that as a hiding place for whoever was inside.

“I could shoot you now and you would be just another corpse in the filth,” her accent thickened with the heat of the words. “The people of Rapture would strip you cleaner than any vultures could.”

“This city was brought up by my hands, doctor. And it will be undone by mine just the same if you do not tell me–”

The door slammed inward, and Booker came in after with a shotgun leveled at Ryan’s head. Apparently, he felt that spoke for itself and Booker said nothing. All Tenenbaum could think of was how grateful she was that the Bathyspheres were much faster now that so few could use them.

“What was that again?” Tenenbaum taunted.

“I won’t be scared off by thugs,” Ryan spat, looking at Booker with disgust. “Where is Jasmine? We have business and you will not keep me from her.”

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

– – –

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BioQuest: A Meeting

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Tenenbaum looked at her ammo supplies and made up her mind. They could get to Siren Alley and back with what she had alone, and lucky for both of them, he had supplies too.

“Jack,” she said, breaking him from his thoughts. “You want to see Jasmine, ja?”

“What, I, you,” he started and stopped, bewildered but smiling. “Can you do that?”

Tenenbaum chuckled drily, heading towards the recent red light district of Rapture ahead of him. “I’d never let you go alone,” she admitted. He’d end up– no, she did not want to think about that. “This way.”

He breathed a laugh, following after her with palpable excitement and anxiousness. And all the unnecessary motion that went with that for Jack…Which mercifully came to an end at Siren Alley, where Jack stayed no more than a foot away from her at all times. Wasn’t that lucky too? Even though she and Booker drank more than they or anyone should, Jack had the good mind to be nervous in the bar.

Or was it the barely dressed men and women?

One of the women sauntered over, addressing Tenenbaum with a sultry look.”What c’n I do for you, miss?”

Jack’s eyes were on Tenenbaum, she could tell without even looking. She held out a stack of cigarette packs to the woman. “Take us to Jasmine Jolene.”

Eyeing the stack, the woman hesitated before cracking a smile and taking them. “Jus’ a moment, then.”

The moment passed, and the same woman sauntered as she led them to the quarters of none other than Jasmine Jolene. On the way, they passed a red-faced man who looked thoroughly pleased with his service.

“Nein,” Tenenbaum said to Jack, again sensing his thoughts without even turning. That maternal instinct of hers was proving far more useful than she ever could have believed it would be, when the first Little Sister crawled up onto her lap.

“Tch,” Jack answered, keeping pace with her even if he wasn’t happy about it.

“A pair, Jasmine,” their guide chimed, waving them in and closing the door behind them with a giggle.To her credit, Jolene tried to disguise her sigh as wistful rather than exhausted. “You sure know how to treat a lady, I–” She froze once she saw Tenenbaum and if she even realized Jack was there, she didn’t show it.

“Jolene,” Tenenbaum greeted.

“How… How are you, doctor?” She could see thoughts racing in the woman’s head, wondering if she owed anything, what the return of Tenenbaum could mean at a time of civil war, and more than she could predict at the moment.

“This is not a social call.” With that, she stepped aside since it didn’t seem like Jack was going to step out from behind her.

“Oh,” he responded, glancing from Tenenbaum to Jolene. “I’m… Jack. Jack Jolene.”

She finally looked at him as if she’d never seen anyone before at all. “I, I thought…” Jolene dropped to the bed, eyes locked on her son. “You can’t. You’d be so young.”

“This is Rapture,” Tenenbaum explained. “A city at the bottom of the ocean where men shoot fire from their hands.” And on that note, she took out a cigarette to light it. “Is anything impossible?”

“Suchong engineered me to grow faster, so I’d be an adult sooner.” Instead of his normal far-off look with this subject, Jack watched Jolene intently. Looking for a response, she figured, and puffed on the cigarette to light it with her lighter.

Jolene’s face wrinkled and still, she was beautiful. Curls fell just right on her shoulders and drew the eye to her considerable assets. “Why? Why would anyone do that?”

“Same reasons someone might sell an unborn child, I figure.” His voice was steady, as was his gaze, but Tenenbaum could see his shoulders tense. “Tell me why. Please.”

“I–” She froze when footsteps barreled down the hall, and Jolene was on her feet moments later. “He can’t see you, he’ll– he can’t,” she repeated, ushering Jack towards a warped armoire.

He stepped away, expression unchanged. “Who?”

“Ryan, it’s blasted Andrew Ryan,” Jolene answered.

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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Jasmine Jolene (Closet Cosplay)

Jasmine Jolene closet cosplay

As part of a community challenge on the BioShock Amino, I put together a closet cosplay for Jasmine Jolene from the first game.

Controversial her character may be, but this was a delight to do and I hope to do more challenges like this in the future!